Culture News

Top Phoenix Arts and Culture Stories of the Week

If Bob Ross were alive today, he'd be painting happy little trees all over the place in ecstatic fervor for all the arts and culture happenings in Phoenix. To help you see the forest for the trees, here's a recap of the top arts and culture stories of the week.

Tempe Improv Owner Mark Anderson Found Dead in Buckeye Hotel Room

News broke this week that Mark Anderson, owner of the now-defunct Tempe Improv who has been missing for the past three weeks, was found dead in a motel room in Buckeye.

According to Lt. Jared Griffith of the Buckeye Police Department, the 60-year-old's body was discovered by the housekeeping staff inside a room at a Days Inn located near Interstate 10. They then notified police officials.

Griffith says Buckeye P.D. officers positively identified Anderson and began an investigation into his death. The Improv owner's body was turned over to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner.

-- Benjamin Leatherman

Duce Owners' Clothing Brand "R&R Surplus" Expands to Neiman Marcus

Owners of warehouse district space The Duce Andi and Steve Rosenstein are not afraid to multi-task. After leaving Chicago, selling their casual clothing business Fitigues, and seeking a mellow Valley retirement, the duo scrapped relaxing and instead opened the bar, eatery, gym, and shop in 2010.

With the launch of a new summer collection from their threeish-year-old label R&R Surplus (formerly composed of reclaimed athletic pieces and vintage items) they've returned to their fashion-focused roots and expanded the brand's availability to Neiman Marcus' On The Go department (where you'll find R&R alongside brands like Stella McCartney for Adidas), Nordstrom, Equinox, and a few spas and boutiques across the country -- as well as at The Duce.

-- Becky Bartkowski

New Times' Summer Guide: Local Hot Spots, Cool Activities, and Kickass Snow Globes (VIDEO)

Surviving a summer in Phoenix is easy and totally doable if you follow these three steps:

1. Drink water

2. Take a few summertime notes from Robrt Pela

3. Pack a New Times Summer Guide

In this week's print edition, you'll spot our very own Summer Guide, a rundown on food, art, sports, nightlife, and film. And this year, things are getting a little chilly.

In celebration of the months of dashboard cookies, sidewalk eggs, and steering wheel oven mitts ahead, New Times Art Director Peter Storch and photographer Jamie Peachey set out to conquer the craft we all wish we could make life-size during the months of June, July, and August: The snow globe.

-- Claire Lawton

Five Must-Attend Lectures in June

So what if school's out for summer? June promises plenty in the way of brainy endeavors. Drop the beer bong, resist that urge to wear a swimsuit as everyday clothing, and dig a pen and some paper out of that book bonfire.

Check out our five lecture picks for summertime smarties.

-- Becky Bartkowski

R.I.P. Ray Bradbury (1920-2012)

Geeks and bookworms are mourning the loss of author Ray Bradbury -- the iconic science-fiction scribe behind such influential books as Farenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles -- who passed away this week at the age of 91.

Although the quirky scribe reportedly loathed such a mantle (and even hated the term science fiction), Bradbury was considered to be a literary giant in the genre along with his contemporaries Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and Harlan Ellison.

Long before he influenced millions with his imaginative tales, Bradbury began his literary career by publishing stories in various sci-fi fanzines in 1938 before getting his works into pulp magazines such as Super Science Stories and later The Saturday Evening Post. Bradbury's first book The Martian Chronicles, an anthology of loosely connected stories, came out in 1950.

-- Benjamin Leatherman

Don't forget to check out Jackalope Ranch's continuing series, 100 Creatives.

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